Brunswick woman honored for saving neighbor’s life

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BRUNSWICK, Ohio – When the Baloun family got tickets to a Cavaliers basketball game, they expected to see LeBron James and his hardwood heroics, but before they ever made it to the arena their neighbor proved she’s the real MVP.

Scott and Liz Baloun were getting ready to leave their home in Brunswick and drive to Cleveland for the game, with their two teenaged daughters when Scott collapsed on the kitchen floor.

“I thought he was joking at first,” said Liz Baloun, but no he wasn’t joking. He was turning blue.”

Immediately she started performing CPR on her husband of 18 years, while the couple’s daughters called 911 and texted their neighbor Diane Skoda, who is certified in CPR and first aid.

Diane ran over to the Baloun house and took over the compressions until police and paramedics arrived.

She says that’s when the reality of what was happening set in. “You’re thinking you’re watching him about to expire in front of his family …that was scary.”

But the 55-year-old father survived what doctors determined was a massive heart attack.

And, thanks to the continuous compressions, doctors say Scott made a full recovery without any damage to his brain, heart or body that could’ve been caused by a lack of oxygen had they not properly performed CPR.

“She’s a true friend and would do anything for you in a minute,” said Scott, “That’s the kind of family they are.”

The heart attack happened in November, and almost immediately the Baloun family wanted to honor Diane.

They nominated her to receive the Brunswick “Good Neighbor Award,” which was developed a few years ago by the city manager as a way to acknowledge outstanding people in the community.

Monday night, Brunswick Mayor Ron Falconi presented Diane with the award.The humble hero barely spoke except to thank the city and the Baloun family, telling Fox 8 News that “all of the attention makes her nervous.”

Both families say the only reason they decided to share their experience is to encourage everyone to learn lifesaving skills like CPR.

“To know basic CPR, the Heimlich and how to administer EpiPens can save a life and I’m a true story; we’re proof,” said Liz.

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